By David Lewellen
The NACC’s beloved annual service of healing was marked by anointing and sacraments, but mostly by love.
“I felt so much love,” said Rosana Slezeviciute, who received the sacrament of anointing the sick for the first time ever at the conference. In her role as a trauma chaplain, “I’ve seen so much death and I’ve begun to feel so much heaviness” that she worried she could not minister effectively without some relief for her psychic pain.
As Father Richard Bauer anointed her and called her by name, “I felt that I’m loved and I’m not alone. We’ll be together and everything will be OK. God is here. You don’t have to go looking for God.”
Four priests ministered to dozens of people in need of healing during the service, and many more congregants came for fellowship or to offer their hands to lay on those who were sick.
Delivering the homily, NACC board member Carolanne Hauck told a story similar to Slezeviciute’s of her own childhood, when she was facing an operation to cure her hip dysplasia that had made one leg longer than the other. Surrounded by a circle of people three or four deep, all laying hands on her and praying for her, “I felt overwhelmed,” she remembered. “I was washed in love. It’s still hard to describe how I felt at that moment. I thought, ‘This is what matters, this is what’s important, not how my leg feels.’ ”
And later, she said her parents told her that people in her circle “felt connected to God in a way they hadn’t before.” She asked, “Where will you find your friends in life? Could Christ work through them?”